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Pretty much everything that NEIL MARSHALL’S THE DESCENT did so well, THE DESCENT 2 did lazily or in a mundane fashion. Characterization? WHO CARES! The lead character of Sarah aside, the peeps here were annoying, fluffy and obvious as to WHY they were in the film. I hardly cared about anybody here or believe that these were actual people. Stereotypes/plot devices on the other hand? YES! NOTE: That dumb as nuts cop mucho grated me. I wanted to reach into the screen and kill him a lot. What about white knuckle suspense? Any of that jive? Well apart from maybe two efficient bits, I felt nothing. And no, bombarding me with cheap boo scares did NOT count as genuine tension. Moreover, director Jon Harris had little grasp on generating dread within the (over lit) setting or making the creatures in his follow up frightening. Sometimes showing less is more and this Part Deux should have applied that rule to whoop ass.
And what is it me or did the film fail at pulling off the illusion that the cave was filled with creatures? Reeked of 4 actors in makeup that they kept re-using to me. Bugh...What about originality? A novel structure? No dice taco! The narrative was of the connect the dots variety and the only time it managed to take me aback was via dumb ass turns that insulted my minute intelligence (like that ABYSMAL ending…grrrr). Finally the affair was cold, lacking the emotional charge the first film had and the inane decisions by the leads (Hey a ripped up body! Let’s go further in the caves yo instead of running out and calling back-up! Sigh…) to serve the plot resulted in me having to apply more suspension of disbelief that I own…I actually had to borrow some fro my neighbor. It's hard for me to root for characters this thick and to get sucked into a storyline that is so forced and manipulative. So the result was that clocked THE DESCENT 2 in a very “detached” manner, I wasn’t bored to tears, but I wasn’t too enthralled either, the film was just there filling time, wasting life, and once done, I totally forgot that I had just watched a movie.
On the flip side, I got to give credit where credit is due, the pace was swift therefore making the whole fairly harmless to sit through and I dug a couple of the ideas here (like use of the cam to communicate exposition and the creatures bathroom...lol). Shauna Macdonald ‘s well rounded performance as Sarah was the only genuine element in the picture so I appreciated that. Natalie Jackson Mendoza was aces as well! Although I had mixed feelings in terms of seeing her in this sequel when taking account the original, it was swell to witness the sexy lass do her thing again. A pretty and talented gal! And of course as per all sequels, this screeching bitch had more kills and further gore than the original. So at least the red splat a second vibe kept me amused on some level.
With all that pea-souped out; on its own, THE DESCENT 2 was an uninspired and cookie cutter peeps trapped in an enclosed space with murderous critters on their tail entry, no different than say THE CAVE or XTRO 2. As a sequel to THE DESCENT, it was akin to what THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (sequel to remake) was to the original... generic and sub-par. Whatever man…whatever…